We have a friend who seems to lurch from one near disaster to another. Fortunately, each situation never becomes totally disastrous, just enough to keep the drama going and us engaged.
Anita seems to attract difficulties to her like a bee to honey and, it appears, has a self-centered ego invested in them due to the attention she attracts.
This is not unusual, given the nature of the egoic mind, which likes to focus on ‘me’ before anyone else.
Many of you know at least one such drama queen, if not two or three! But how do you rate when it comes to dramas? Does your day, if not your life, seem like a non-stop palaver? Are there never ending to-do lists, calamities to be fixed or obstacles to be overcome? Does it all seem like an endless song and dance routine? And is there any way out of this dilemma?
As William Shakespeare said, “the world is a stage”… and we do tend to think of ourselves as the main actor. It’s easy to feel that you are the center of the fulcrum, the point around which the world revolves.
Becoming a witness to this is liberating.
By simply watching the drama and not actually becoming it, you can maintain your sanity and awareness. It’s not that you are disconnected, detached, or emotionally removed from what’s happening, as if it were happening to someone else, but you are fully aware of your feelings without needing to judge or react to them.
An example of this is with illness. It’s easy, when afflicted by disability or sickness for instance, to identify with it as ‘mine’—my illness / disease / physical problems. But who you are is not the illness. As Byron Katie said to us, “I’m fine, it’s just my body that’s being challenged.” Who you are is a radiant and free being. Your body, even your mind, may be experiencing limitations, but within you is the witness that observes this while remaining unbound by it.
Some years ago we were on a meditation retreat in Thailand. The monk teaching us said:
If you experience pain, fear, or anger, do not label such emotions as “my pain,” “my fear,” or “my anger.” When you think of them as yours, then more pain arises. Just see all emotions without identifying them as “mine.”
So, if your life appears to be a non-stop drama, try taking time to step back and just observe it, be mindful without judging or identifying with it.
Normally, it’s easy to react to what you’re feeling with guilt or shame, but as you develop the witness you will see when your ego is reacting and how that affects your communication. Then you can be aware and fully present with whatever is happening, while remaining deeply in touch with your inner self. See the mind as an ocean: how your thoughts and feelings are the surface turbulence, but below is still and calm deep water.
Without a doubt meditation is a brilliant way to develop witness consciousness or mindful awareness. It invites us to enter into the depths of stillness within, from where we can observe the waves above. It creates a quiet spaciousness so we can watch our ego at play without getting caught up in the accompanying drama.
A 4-week webinar (on-line course) with Ed and Deb Shapiro on discovering the greatest gift you can give yourself: meditation. Clear your mind, open your heart, and dive into the wonder of your own true self. Starts July 09.
Editor: Lynn Hasselberger